The name "Ho’onunui" means "to flourish and exceedingly multiply" and the aim of this non-profit organization is to equip, empower and encourage the reproduction and multiplication of the good people and good works of Christ in Hawai’i, the Pacific, Asia and beyond! Ho’onunui was formed in 2017 to resource Pastor C’s leadership development and church consulting work in Asia. The three largest investments of time and energy are currently in Japan, Mongolia and South Korea.

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Monthly Pastor Commentary

Boeing and DEI

The recent failed door plug incident with an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737MAX9 appears to have brought DEI hiring practices into focus as the aerospace giant's priorities were questioned. That another Boeing aircraft—a 787 flown by Virgin Atlantic—returned to Heathrow just the other day with its Ram Air Turbo safety device deployed may be an indication that Boeing has made some good decisions, too, at least in terms of passenger safety. While I won't waste time discussing the relative merit or the passenger experience on a Boeing fly-by-hydraulics versus an Airbus fly-by-wire setup, I find it interesting as a frequent flier to hear that United Airlines is in talks with Airbus a mere month after ordering 200 aircraft from Boeing.

What caught my attention as someone interested in leadership development and organizational health is how the subject of DEI got dragged into this. Of course, as an aerospace manufacturer responsible for the safety of hundreds of thousands of passengers each day and worldwide, hiring and retaining employees for reasons other than capacity and reliability probably should be avoided. As questions about whether that so-called door plug, manufactured in Malaysia and installed in the U.S., was properly bolted into the airframe circulate, any negative impact on workmanship directly due to pressures associated with DEI practices should come under proper scrutiny. However, what is proper scrutiny from a leadership perspective?

As an older mixed-race man raised in a multicultural society as well as having lived and worked in several languages on my own or with the help of translators, the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion are not lost on me as I continue to navigate contexts where those with certain traits are privileged over others. Nonetheless, I believe there are times and spaces when diversity, equity, and inclusion need to take a step back to allow unity, reconciliation, and truth, to take the lead. My previous experience as a professional firefighter reminds me that there are times and spaces when and where prevention and safety need to be given precedence over comfort, personal expression, or socioeconomic identity.

For Boeing, it seems that proper scrutiny involves asking hard questions and dealing with even harder answers to restore public and commercial confidence in their product. When purchasing hundreds of aircraft that will not only cost between $60-350 million dollars, but also fly passengers over millions of miles, United Airlines likely cares more about the skillsets required to implement safety measures. Unity in diversity—in this case, a single-minded dedication leading to effective aircraft design, build, maintenance, and improvement—is indispensable. While a challenging concept, perhaps each of us needs to consider this: it's not just about me but about what I contribute to the people who rely on me?